|Lloyd's Tour of Clare, 1780|
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Clare County Library
About a Mile N. W. of TULLA lies the River of KILLTANNAN and MILLTOWN, famous for it’s ever-amazing and elegant, Subterraneous, Curiosities, call’d the TO-MINES: They form a Part of the River Midway between KILLTANNAN House and the Castle of MILLTOWN, extending, under Ground, for a Space which (from it’s Invisible Winding Banks and Chrystal Meanders) may reasonably be computed a Quarter of an English Mile; they are Vaulted and Shelter’d with a Solid Rock, transmitting a sufficiency of Light and Air by Intermediate Chinks, and Apertures, gradually offering at certain Intervals.
At each Side of this Elysian-like River, are Roomy Passages or rather Apartments freely communicating One with the Other, and scarcely obvious to any Inclemency whatsoever: they are, likewise, Decorated with a Sandy Beach, level along to walk on, whilst the curious Spectators are crown’d with Garlands of Ivy, hanging in Triplets from the impending Rocky Shades: Numbers of the Sporting Game, the Wily Fox, the wary Hare, and the Multiplying Rabbet, &c. merrily parading in View of their own singular and various, absconding, Haunts and Retreats. Ingenious Nature thus Entertains her welcome Visitants from the Entrance to the Extremity of the TO-MINES. Lo! when parting liberally Rewarded, and amply Satisfyed with such egregious and wonderful Exhibitions; a Bridge or Arch over the same River, curiously compos’d of Solid Stone, appears to them as a lively Representation of an Artificial One.
What can the much boasted of GIANT’S CAUSEY, in the North of this Kingdom, produce but Scenes of Horror and Obscurity? Whilst the TO-MINES of the Barony of TULLA, like unto the Artificial Beauties of the LATOMI of SYRACUSE, freely exhibit the most natural and pleasing Appearances.
Let the Literati and Curious, after taking the Continental Tour of EUROPE, praise and, even, write of the Imaginary Beauties and Natural Curiosities of ITALY and SWITZERLAND——pray, let them, also, on a cool Reflection, repair to the County of CLARE, View and touch upon the truely Subterraneous and really Un-artificial Curiosities of the TO-MINES; they will Impartially admit that these naturally Enchanting Rarities may be freely visited, and generously treated of, by the Ingenious and Learned of this and after Ages.
Note that one Side of these TO-MINES appertains to KILLTANNAN,
the elegant Seat and Estate of JAMES MOLONY Esq; and the other to MILLTOWN,
the Estate of JOHN COLPOYS, of BALLYCARR, Esq.
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